Looking Back on One Year of Progress: The Picky Eaters Project

by in Family, Food Network Chef, August 21st, 2014

The Picky Eaters Project One Year LaterMy littlest daughter was always complaining that she was too short, whining about being the shrimp of the family, until the day came when she could brush her teeth without a stool. Suddenly, she realized how much taller she was, and how the tiny bits of daily growth had sneakily added up to something quite significant. That is the nature of slow-but-steady change. We had a similar experience on vacation this summer, except that it was about the tremendous growth we’ve witnessed in our picky eaters.

I’ll back up. I have four daughters, and two and half of them are picky eaters. While I’d had some success in improving their eating with a few strategies here and there, I wanted to see a more fundamental shift, not just an occasional willingness to eat a vegetable. About a year and a half ago, I started researching picky eating. I suspected the story was bigger than finding a magical recipe that would make my kids like spinach. My research confirmed my suspicions: Picky eating was a complex issue with many causes. And each one of my kids probably identified with several of the root causes to varying degrees. So I decided to create a program that focused on root causes, something beyond tips and recipes. I invited Food Network viewers into my home to watch and learn along with us. The result was the unique Food Network Web series called The Picky Eaters Project. By the time we completed the program ourselves and the cameras came down from our family dining room (we called it “carrot cam” because it spied on us all throughout dinner!), my girls were eating foods I never dreamed they would (Margaux liked peas?!) and had started making their own wise choices about healthy eating (Charlotte was reading cereal labels before choosing a box). The response from fellow parents of picky eaters was tremendous, and we were thrilled that The Picky Eaters Project was included as a Webby honoree last year.

Read more

Restaurant Revisited: Holy Cow! at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar

by in Shows, August 20th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleThe situation at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar wasn’t what it seemed when Robert Irvine first arrived there. Co-owner Jenny Leonzi admitted that the calm demeanor shown by her business partner — and former husband — Kerry Benton wasn’t usual; yelling and swearing were more commonplace, and because of that, Robert was forced to investigate never-before-seen footage of Kerry’s behavior at the eatery. In the nearly nine seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this is the first time that Robert has revealed the behind-the-scenes clips his producers collect ahead of his visit, and after watching those tapes, Robert saw the restaurant’s reality.

Before Robert could finish the two days of renovations at Country Cow, Kerry made the decision to leave the 12-year-old Campton, N.H., eatery once and for all, signing over all aspects of the business to Jenny. Read on below to hear from Jenny and learn how her restaurant is doing several months after its transformation.

Since Robert left, “sales were up $22,000 compared to June 2013,” says Jenny, who adds that “guests are loving the new decor.”

Read more

Hump Day Snack: Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons

by , August 20th, 2014

RaspberryThis year’s 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, August 25, has the theme “Kaleidoscope of Color.”  Since, when you get down to it, awards shows are as much about what you’re wearing as they are about who might win, plan an impressive, colorful-packed party menu. (If you really feel daring, you can make exactly what the attendees will eat. Otherwise, try this stunning and elegant Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons.

A Dobos Torte is a Hungarian layered sponge caketypically layered with rich chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel pieces. But for the sake of summer (and sophistication), bake the sponge cake layers in a sheet pan and cut them into 3-inch round disks, then layer them with a light but decadent mascarpone mousse and fresh raspberries. For the grand finale, use a candy thermometer to transform sugar and water into statuesque sugar ribbons. Then wait for the accolades to roll in.

Read more

Try a Whole New Take on Chicken Stroganoff

by in Recipes, Shows, August 20th, 2014

Chopped Dinner Challenge Chicken Liver StroganoffOn this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient chicken livers. Although chicken livers are more traditionally used in pate, the chefs decided to take advantage of their earthy flavor by cooking them with mushrooms and butter in a twist on stroganoff in this Chicken Liver Stroganoff with Greek Yogurt recipe. The Greek yogurt helps give the dish a creamy touch, and the egg noodles soak up the flavorful sauce. It’s a total comfort dish that will make you rethink chicken livers.

Read more

Quick Dorm-Room Meals

by , August 20th, 2014

CerealAdjusting to dorm life from the comforts of home (and a fully stocked and equipped kitchen) can be a rough transition for college-aged foodies. But with just a few tools and a basic pantry, you can whip up satisfying meals for any time of the day or night.

Breakfasts
This whole-grain hot cereal (pictured above) uses bulgur and barley with oats to make an extra hearty and nutritious breakfast. Think about mixing a bigger batch of the cereal so it’s ready to use in an instant. For a cold alternative, mix a whole-grain, low-sugar dry cereal (Cheerios and Bran Flakes are two classic, good choices) with plain yogurt, fresh or dried fruit, a handful of nuts and a splash of lowfat milk. It will keep you fueled for hours.

If you’re in a hurry, try instant oatmeal cooked with lowfat milk and topped with peanut butter and banana, or top rye crisp crackers with mashed avocado and hard-boiled egg slices.

Read more

Brush Up on Your Restaurant Cellphone Etiquette (Please!)

by in News, August 20th, 2014

Restaurant Cellphone EtiquetteWe may not always be proud of it, but many of us spend our lives glued to our smartphones: texting friends, keeping up with news, making sure our bosses don’t need us right this very second. We’ve become so attached to those alluring little screens, in fact, that we often forget to stop and smell the coffee — or interact with our server — when we dine in restaurants.

Think no one notices when you surreptitiously reach for your phone in those quiet moments after you first sit down, when you’re probably supposed to be looking at your menu, or while you’re waiting for your food to arrive or your friend to come back from the bathroom — or even when you’re in the middle of your meal? Guess what? Someone notices. That person is your server.

Read more

Top Breakfast Spots in Chicago

by in Food Network Magazine, Restaurants, August 20th, 2014

Top Breakfast Spots in ChicagoOn Sept. 20, Food Network is throwing the ultimate end-of-summer bash: an outdoor food and music festival in Chicago. With today’s top chefs and big musical artists like John Mayer and Phillip Phillips, it’s sure to be a delicious experience worth the travel.

The event officially starts at 11:30am with lunch, so concertgoers will be on their own for breakfast, which isn’t a bad thing at all considering the countless great restaurants in the area. To narrow down the best options, we enlisted the help of Food Network chefs. From old-school diners to five-star hotels, here are Chicago’s best breakfast spots. (Just try to save some of your appetite for all of the gourmet hot dogs, award-winning burgers and other mouthwatering eats at the festival.)

Geoffrey Zakarian: The Drake Hotel

Anne Burrell: I love going to The Palace Grill [Sandwich Shop]. They have the best breakfast, and the owner, George, has even better jokes!

Read more

This App Keeps Track of Your Perishable Foodstuffs

by , August 20th, 2014

One of the worst feelings in the world has to be taking a big, late night swig of milk, only to find out that it is chunkier than cottage cheese and smellier than brie. In other words, it sure is hard to keep track of all of the perishables in our refrigerators. A just-released app seeks to take on this modern problem, using the magic of technology to save us from ourselves.

It’s appropriately called The Fridge and it seems simple enough. You input perishables when they go into the refrigerator and the app will let you know, via messages, when it’s time to let them go. It also acts as a spoilage encyclopedia of sorts, letting you know the average time it takes all of your favorite foods to turn into your favorite poisons.

The app is $1.99 and available right now. However, The Fridge is currently only available for iOS users. Sorry Droid-heads.